Best parks to stop and smell the flowers



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  • Photograph: Noah Fecks

    Photographs: Noah Fecks

  • Photograph: Noah Fecks

    Fort Tryon Park Heather Garden

Photograph: Noah Fecks

Photographs: Noah Fecks

Click #3 for a 3-D image (3-D glasses required).

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Fort Tryon Park
The views of the New Jersey Palisades alone make this sylvan landscape one of city's prettiest places, but it's further elevated by the graceful walkways and overflowing perennial beds of its pastoral Heather Garden. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., Fort Tryon Park sits 250 feet above the Hudson River and boasts three landscaped acres that look as if they were transplanted from an English country estate house, with sloping lawns and drooping elms. Many of the garden's 48 varieties of heaths and heathers are unique to New York City, and some bloom even in winter, their needlelike leaves turning copper or chocolate. Summer, however, is always the best time to go: The plots become a genteel wilderness, riotous with musk roses, foxglove, hydrangeas and irises. Margaret Corbin Circle, Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd (212-795-1388,


Riverside Park
For 26 years, a volunteer collective called the Garden People has carefully curated the block-long 91st Street Garden, the most colorful corner of Riverside Park. (It's also one of its more famous locations, having made a cameo in the romantic climax of the 1998 film You've Got Mail.) Hundreds of varieties of plants burst alongside the asphalt walkway, including rose of Sharon trees and giant hibiscus flowers, which bloom this month. During the summer, keep an eye out for monarch and swallowtail butterflies, which emerge in the evenings and are drawn to the aromatic bushes. Riverside Park, enter at Riverside Dr and 91st St (

Narrows Botanical Garden
This small expanse manages to pack plenty of flora into its 4.5 acres: You'll find a wide array of flowers and plants here, including sections devoted entirely to weeping willows, roses and linden trees. Elsewhere, the Turtle Sanctuary offers a haven for endangered species of the reptile, while the 450-foot-long Fragrant Pathway is filled with lilacs, lilies and jasmine, providing further sensory treats for both your nose and your eyes. Shore Rd between Bay Ridge Ave and 72nd St, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (

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